And so they attend a couple of meetings. They go to a meeting over lunch, and none of these questions are answered. How will this work, and what are my responsibilities. None of these questions are answered in the first meeting, and there’s really no clarity beyond general consensus that data is an asset. Everybody’s nodding their heads. And then what happens the data governance effort starts to break down.
Data governance can even become a dirty word over time. And that’s really a shame because it really solves some important problems when it’s done right, but there is this rapid dis-affection of constituents when it comes to data governance if it’s treated as a series of meetings, or a big committee.
So what are some guidelines for making data governance a success now? This is really interesting because not a lot of people are approaching data governance this way, but the secret is to design it. And I know it sort of sounds obvious, but this tends to scare people. I think it’s a human tendency to immediately enlist other people. But unless data governance is really designed, and by that I mean looking at the company’s specific culture, its organizational structure, the decision making processes, and the immediate business requirements that data governance can address.
Conversations about data governance just won’t seem relevant to people, and it risks becoming an intellectual exercise. So sort of back to that prior example I gave, people will convene for a period of time and in the spirit of good will and in the company’s interest, but over time taking the time to deliberately design data governance with company specific factors in mind can lay out the framework that you need to really be able to pitch it. And to really answer a lot of those unasked questions like I talked about before and enlist people the right way. And it just becomes a heck of a lot easier to really get people involved in a sustained data governance activity, as, as sort of a formal and ongoing process when those questions are answered in advance through rigorous design of governance.